The United States gained their third straight Olympic semifinals appearance, following their straight-set win over Japan
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 16, 2016 – The United States kept their unbeaten run and gained the second semifinal spot in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games women’s volleyball competition, following their straight-set (25-16, 25-23, 25-22) win over Japan in the quarterfinals at Maracanazinho on Tuesday.
Jordan Larson Burbach and Kimberly Hill top scored for USA with an equal point output of 14 points, while Japan’s Miyu Nagaoka and Yuki Ishii scored 13 points each on a losing effort.
USA were prolific against Japan in spikes 45-37, in blocks 5-2 and in aces 5-2, although the latter played excellent defence on the North American team with 21 excellent digs and 32 receptions.
USA will make their third straight semifinals appearance in the Olympic Games, following their appearances in Beijing 2008 and London 2012, where they bagged back-to-back silver medals.
USA setter Alisha Glass organised clever combination plays that allowed her hitters to get their rhythm on offence. USA succeeded in the first set with a significant lead and a great block on Japan captain Saori Kimura secured the set win 25-16.
Japan challenged USA in the second set, as Ishii and Nagaoka stepped up on their game, but Larson and Hill benefitted from Glass’ brilliant setting as they led the USA offence. Larson helped out as she score the last two points to overcome the strong Japanese challenge 25-23.
USA utilised their blocking strength and applied more pressure on the serve to gain momentum at the start of the third set. Japan retaliated and completed a comeback, as Kimura and Erika Araki heroically wiped out the lead of USA at 20-all. USA then regained their momentum with Hill and Foluke Akinradewo in the forefront of scoring the last two points 25-22.
Quick links - Women's Quarterfinals - Tuesday, August 16: